The revenge of sous chefs in Italy: when the student “surpasses” the teacher

The revenge of sous chefs in Italy: when the student “surpasses” the teacher

We tell you the stories of some of the most important Italian sous chefs, figures who have detached themselves from the great chefs to face their own path.

Chef has become a fashion word, now almost overused, to indicate, in an often inappropriate attempt at ennobling, the figure of the cook. Forgetting the true original meaning of the French word that stands for boss and which therefore is more specifically culinary suited to those who manage an important team in number and quality.a fundamental figure for an established restaurant is certainly that of the sous chefA figure who today has a very important exposure that often takes her out of the kitchens, between conferences, awards, projects and dinners, to affirm and consolidate the image between the domestic and foreign markets. And these are the moments in which the team we were talking about enters the field, led by those who over the years have been able to earn chevrons on the field, needless to say the sous chefs . A figure unknown to most people, even in the field of insiders until recently, today more at the center of attention, also because he is not limited only to taking the reins of the kitchen in the absence of the chef, but often also puts his signature on the menu.


In Italy the Postrivoro project has brought them to light – more foreigners than Italians – launching many towards the opening of their own business . Why is this then the problem that arises in front of the sous chef: remain in the parent company, taking on an increasingly important role, albeit remaining in the shadow of the chef or close the relationship and start a personal journey?

The sous chefs who remained in the parent company

taka and david

Among the former, remaining in Italy, one cannot fail to mention the example of the Osteria Francescana , a place where the word team makes sense as in few others: Davide Di Fabio and Takahido “Taka” Kondo , are the soul of the kitchen, always present with their contribution of ideas and work, available on closing days to propose dishes and ideas around the boot. In the shadows, figures like that of Luca Abbadir – still young but for a long time now the right arm of Moreno Cedroni at the Madonnina del Pescatore in Senigallia – and Francesco Di Lorenzo , coéquipier  with common Calabrian roots of Anthony Genovese al Pagliaccio of Rome, I can’t even tell you how long.

The sous chefs and their new projects


Then there are those who decide to follow new paths , both to start a new path, and for a moment of decompression from years of work in machines that work at maximum speed and consume physically and even more mentally. One of the latest examples is that of Giuseppe Rambaldi who just over a year ago left his old collaboration with Davide Scabin and took his time before setting out on a new adventure. But among those who have left the parent company to launch themselves on their own, the list is really long, and we are not here to want to make an exhaustive review, but to cite the most significant cases .


  1. Matteo BaronettoLet’s start with Matteo Baronetto , a career built at the court of Carlo Cracco, from a very young age in Piobesi d’Alba at Clivie and then in Milan, where his role became increasingly important, until in 2012 the words Matteo Baronetto appeared on the menu proposes . Yet not even a year later the divorce was consummated, with Matteo taking over the reins of the historic Turin restaurant Del Cambio , refurbished after a long restyling, taking with him some of his historical recipes, such as Kidney and sea urchins or Crema burnt all ‘ I hate with garusoli.
  2. alfio ghezziAlso in Milan Alfio Ghezzi was Andrea Berton’s right-hand man for the opening and success of Trussardi alla Scala, before emigrating to Trento to become the chef of Locanda Marton restaurant of the Lunelli family, known throughout the world for one of the symbols most prestigious of the Classic Method in Italy, Ferrari. And that of the symbiosis of food bubbles has made a mark on its dishes.
  3. yojiYoji Tokuyoshi landed in Milan in 2015 , who was Bottura’s first and recognized right-hand man. An unexpected farewell, a perhaps affected opening, for a restaurant that bears the name of the chef, who over the years has been able to find its way into the mixture of cultures between Italy and Japan and which is about to start a new season with addition of an opening in Tokyo.
  4. giuliano baldessari_1Casa Alajmo has always been a hotbed of talents who often then go to direct the kitchens of the many spin-offs of the parent company, as well as others instead set up on their own, such as Giuliano Baldessari , who rose to television fame with Top Chef. For years, according to Massimiliano Alajmo alle Calandre, for some years he has set up his own business in Barberano Vicentino with his Aqua Crua , one of the few restaurants in Italy that is still avant-garde and culinary experimentation, never at the expense of taste and the customer.
  5. francesco-brutto_copy2Alajmo school also that of Piergiorgio Parini (speaking of avant-garde kitchens), whose years at Povero Diavolo in Torriana have remained in the hearts of many. It is difficult to define the role of right-hand man in that experience, that idea of ​​cooking was so much a workshop, but among those who spent time on those stoves, one of those who most absorbed the concepts is Francesco Brutto , one man band from Eleventh Winery in Treviso and executive producer at Venissa, where Chiara Pavan runs the kitchens.
  6. lo-chef-gianluca-gorini-1024x576We could make a similar speech for Gianluca Gorini , favorite pupil of Paolo Lopriore (as he was of Gualtiero Marchesi). We could not really tell you if in the short and dazzling experience of singing, Gorini was the second, certainly it was a founding experience of his path.
  7. zaccardiRecent is the farewell of Antonio Zaccardi from Piazza Duomo, where for 12 years he worked alongside Enrico Crippa, until becoming his alter ego. The landing place is on the other side of Italy, in Puglia in Conversano, at Pashà , where he works hand in hand with an iconic figure of southern cuisine, Maria Cicolella, in a work of counterpoint between tradition and innovation.
  8. negrini_moroni_pisani_credits-to-mauri-for-italian-gourmetAnd we could go on for a long time, but let’s close here, asking you to integrate the list, reporting last but not least the case of two guys who arrived years ago in a temple of Italian cuisine as sous chefs, have become, collecting the inheritance by Aimo and Nadia Moroni, the protagonists of the Place: Alessandro Negrini and Fabio Pisani . Sometimes you don’t even need to travel.

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